The management of project teams in MOBA is a challenge because the project managers themselves do not have any direct access to the various resources required in each project. We have already taken a closer look at this special constellation in "coordination of development teams" and published it in the following article:
The MOBA Project Management - Part 18 "Structures and communication channels"
From this a short summary as a start for this report:
In the above-mentioned article, the so-called matrix organization of MOBA was described.
Here, each department represents a vertical line with a department head at the top.
A classic, hierarchical top -> down organization with a corresponding chain of authority and decision-making.
We in project management, on the other hand, need many different resources from different departments for a limited period of time (project duration). That means, we are horizontally interwoven through the different departments. Here, however, we lack all decision-making powers; because these are held by the respective department manager. This organization complicates the project processes and also the communication channels, which are now interwoven horizontally (project) and vertically (department) in a kind of matrix.
All further details and illustrations of the so-called matrix structure can be read in the above-mentioned report.
Leadership of project teams:
In our task, the organization of new product developments, with temporarily constituted development teams, it is a challenge due to the lack of authority, to still have a motivated team, and to be able to lead a development project to a successful end.
How can this be achieved?
First of all, the team members are not just any resources that can be "used" by their special expertise for any special requirements.
No, they are individuals who are all different, with different views and needs.
The teams that are put together in this way for each project require a leadership that is individually adapted in each case.
There are many different buzzwords for this, such as
- Leadership without power
- Agile leadership
- Modern leadership *1
For the leadership style "carrot and stick" we are missing the stick.
But is that really a loss?
Fixed rules usually only disturb during development (we always do it this way, it has always been this way, ...). They are a kind of corset, especially for creative employees.
It is much better to work with simple principles and to specify only the boundary conditions. In this way, you can expand the scope for the developers, and make them want to do their work, because fun and enthusiasm in the job is an important precondition for good performance.
Also, the project manager should never be a "boss", but a leader, a team player, who manages to form a good team out of many individual specialists, similar to a good soccer coach. Key words for this are: to help, to demonstrate, to participate, to be a positive role model - NOT to command, to order and to demand!
All this is based on a "value based" cooperation like:
- good communication (being able to listen well)
In time, on this fruitful ground, something grows like:
- more initiative
- more engagement
- more motivation-
- more fun at work
- more loyalty to the company
- more ...
Among other things, a corresponding meeting culture is part of the daily togetherness in the team:
- No more meetings with a monologue where everyone says OK at the end,
but then you hear something completely different in the coffee kitchen.
- Goal: Everyone should be able to contribute 100% to the meeting.
- Everyone works out a solution and presents it - and everyone is listened to.
- In this way, you get many different approaches to a solution, you get different perspectives
on the subject, and you can " cross-fertilize " each other in this way.
- Meetings can then suddenly run very differently, everyone feels integrated and is much more motivated.
For complex projects, this management style, based on a lot of trust and independence, can also be supported, and further developed with various tools.
Example: agile project management.
Agility is the ability to adapt to changes and new challenges in the ongoing project again and again, to plan and adapt the next steps, by always keeping the project goal in mind.
We have already published corresponding technical articles on this subject in our series of "The MOBA Project Management", for example:
The future is hybrid - also in project management at MOBA
This cooperative management style is the only way to successfully complete the many development projects together with the respective development teams at MOBA (even without authority to issue directives).
*1 Volker Mari - Your partner for modern leadership - www.volkermari.de